Trespalacios, J. H., & Chamberlin, B. (2012). 21st century learning: The role of serious games. In Handbook of research on serious games as educational, business and research tools (pp. 782-799). IGI Global. doi: 10.4018/978-1-4666-0149-9.ch040

Traspalacios and Chamberlin (2012)’s article discusses what can be done by serious games in 21st-century learning. In this article, the main aim expressed is incorporating 21st-century skills, such as problem-solving, communication, collaboration, creativity, and innovation skills into serious games. Another intention of this study is incorporating the theory of generative learninginto serious games. Generative learning requires students to relate new information to their previous knowledge and real-life situations. Thus, generative learning strategies provide students with authentic learning. To support these aims, Traspalacios and Chamberlin (2012) provide an example of a Mathematics game they argue can hit the element of 21st-century learning. In this study, students are asked to relate concepts in the game with their personal experience based on generative learning strategies. Students are also required to engage in collaborative learning to discuss the problems provided in the game as a part of the assessment. These activities may promote students problem-solving skills, communication, and collaboration. 

From this study, I can know how important to underpin the design of serious games with learning theories. This article suggests that designing and developing serious games need to combine both theoretical and technological aspects. Traspalacios and Chamberlin (2012) can provide and combine both of these aspects in this article. One of the most significant concepts that I can adopt from this study to my instructional design context is how to incorporate generative learningtheory in game design. It will be useful when the game used for learning related to students experience in order to provide authentic learning. However, this study also has some limitations. The main limitation of this study is that it only focuses on Mathematic content to be presented in serious games. This is quite contradictive with the design framework from Wilson and Williams (2010), which focus on the interdisciplinary subject rather than focus on one single subject. Therefore, while this article is useful for providing the concept of generative learning,its focus on fostering 21st-century skills may be more influential if they adopt interdisciplinary subject as one of the 21st-century learning standards (Alismail & McGuire, 2015). The last limitation of this study may be the lack of explanation regarding the correlation of the 21st-century skills and the generative learning strategies in the design and implementation of the game. What I can perceive is that generative learning serves as the base theory of authentic learning, and 21st-century skills can be fostered by learning materials and activities provided in the game. 


Alismail, H. A., & McGuire, P. (2015). 21st century standards and curriculum: Current research and practice. Journal of Education and Practice6(6), 150-154. Retrieved from https://files.eric.ed.gov/fulltext/EJ1083656.pdf

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